Question Unusual frame drops in specific game

Debux

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Jul 10, 2020
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So recently I bought an Asus Zephyrus Duo 16, great laptop, could run pretty much anything with good fps, Apex, which is the main game I played would run at 180~ fps constant almost all the time with occasional dips in certain areas, but nonetheless the game ran perfect.

However, recently after moving my setup (and also changing monitors from 2560x1440 @ 240Hz to 1920x1080 @ 165Hz) I noticed that, specifically in Apex i've been getting awful fps drops, only when moving my mouse, which results in sluggish gameplay and almost like my sensitivity changes, making the game unplayable. I haven't really tweaked any settings since moving my setup, and the GPU and CPU temps are fine (up to 85~ for CPU and 75 for GPU). However, when moving my mouse in game the frame dips from a constant 163 FPS to 130, 110, sometimes even 50 FPS. That being said, actual CPU and GPU utilisation does not change whatsoever. Also, when I stop moving my mouse the performance is smooth.

I've already tried setting a lower polling rate, my power plan is set to best performance, and Asus Turbo mode is on. I don't think it's a problem with my mouse or laptop specifically, as I've changed polling rates and used other mice with no effect and this issue seems to only affect Apex. Any ideas?
 

Debux

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Jul 10, 2020
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Could be monitor issue. Some monitors have far higher input lag than others. Other than that, hardware wise, there haven't been any other changes, right?
I've actually tried using my laptop screen and it didn't work, Any other changes since then were simply software updates, pretty sure I updated BIOS, Asus Armoury crate and my NVidia drivers.
 

Aeacus

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Sometimes it helps to uninstall GPU drivers with DDU and either reinstalling latest version back. Or when it too doesn't help, installing version or two older.

BIOS update, as far as i know, doesn't slow down the PC, especially when only 1 software would be affected.
 

Debux

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Jul 10, 2020
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Sometimes it helps to uninstall GPU drivers with DDU and either reinstalling latest version back. Or when it too doesn't help, installing version or two older.

BIOS update, as far as i know, doesn't slow down the PC, especially when only 1 software would be affected.
Actually noticed today the issue is also present in BO2, exactly same issue, 500~ fps but drops down to 100 fps at times, usually when moving mouse, but for now I'll try DDU and see what happens.
 

Debux

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Jul 10, 2020
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Unfortunately uninstalling and reinstalling drivers, and even rolling back to previous drivers didn't work :(
 

Aeacus

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With software issues, it's hard to say what causes the issue. Usually, it's either driver/software conflict, or outdated software. It can also be bloatware or malware. And when the games are online (played in the net), then it could be network issue as well.

Easiest software fix would be clean Win install. Since you'd be formatting your OS drive and starting fresh.
 

Debux

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Jul 10, 2020
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Okay, I won't reinstall Windows for now because I've actually found out that my CPU throttles instantly when I go into the game, drops from 4GHz to 1GHz, or even less. It's frustrating because the average temp is 75C. I already set power settings and power use to 100% in Windows.
 

Aeacus

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It's frustrating because the average temp is 75C.
Improve your laptop's cooling. E.g don't place it on blanket or any other soft material. Instead, hard surface (e.g table) is much better.
If the placement doesn't help, look into repasting your laptop (e.g taking it apart and replacing all thermal pads and thermal paste).

Other than these two, there isn't much to do, in terms of laptop cooling.
Oh, might want to undervolt your CPU and/or GPU, so that they draw less power and produce less heat. Of course, that also means loss of performance.
 

Debux

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Jul 10, 2020
11
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1,510
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Improve your laptop's cooling. E.g don't place it on blanket or any other soft material. Instead, hard surface (e.g table) is much better.
If the placement doesn't help, look into repasting your laptop (e.g taking it apart and replacing all thermal pads and thermal paste).

Other than these two, there isn't much to do, in terms of laptop cooling.
Oh, might want to undervolt your CPU and/or GPU, so that they draw less power and produce less heat. Of course, that also means loss of performance.
A temperature of around 70-75C on load should be ideal for gaming on a laptop, no? I already make sure it has good airflow, place it on a desk and have it elevated for max air intake. Plus, this is an extreme case of throttling here, I wouldn't expect it to throttle down to sub 1GHz only when in game, and when the temperature is stable.
 

Aeacus

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Oh, blowing canned air into air intakes may also help, since dust will collect inside the airways.

--

Download HWinfo64,
link: https://www.hwinfo.com/download/

Open it in Sensors mode, game a bit and compare the min and max values you see in there. E.g fan speed, temperature (CPU, GPU, MoBo), voltages, frequencies etc. Make screenshots, upload them to the net (e.g imgur) and post the screenshots here. These screens would tell us how your laptop is faring, on both idle and during load.
 

Debux

Commendable
Jul 10, 2020
11
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1,510
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Oh, blowing canned air into air intakes may also help, since dust will collect inside the airways.

--

Download HWinfo64,
link: https://www.hwinfo.com/download/

Open it in Sensors mode, game a bit and compare the min and max values you see in there. E.g fan speed, temperature (CPU, GPU, MoBo), voltages, frequencies etc. Make screenshots, upload them to the net (e.g imgur) and post the screenshots here. These screens would tell us how your laptop is faring, on both idle and during load.
View: https://imgur.com/a/XcgjnRG


CPU is throttling despite decent temps. I also figured out that this might be related to power plans, setting minimum power state to a low number like 5% and maximum processor state to something under 100% like 95% almost fixes it, but there are still occasional stutters. I'll dust the laptop tomorrow, but with temps like these I doubt it'll make a difference.
 

Aeacus

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Make sure to clean your laptop well.

I also figured out that this might be related to power plans, setting minimum power state to a low number like 5% and maximum processor state to something under 100% like 95% almost fixes it, but there are still occasional stutters.
I'll look if i can get anyone else here, to look at your issue, since i have no clue, why your CPU, who's Tjmax is 95C, is thermal throttling at 68C (most likely even before that). It should thermal throttle at 80C and up.
 

Zerk2012

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View: https://imgur.com/a/XcgjnRG


CPU is throttling despite decent temps. I also figured out that this might be related to power plans, setting minimum power state to a low number like 5% and maximum processor state to something under 100% like 95% almost fixes it, but there are still occasional stutters. I'll dust the laptop tomorrow, but with temps like these I doubt it'll make a difference.
A lot of games have occasional stutters and FPS drops just because of the game engine.

If it's doing much better than before then it's probably the best it will get.
 

Debux

Commendable
Jul 10, 2020
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A lot of games have occasional stutters and FPS drops just because of the game engine.

If it's doing much better than before then it's probably the best it will get.
I was testing it in other games too, and for example, in Apex a lot of the time I'm running the game at 83 fps at times in BR, because the CPU is slowing down to like 1GHz, this isn't normal because I've literally played it smoothly a few weeks ago with a stable fps of 165.

I'm not going to allow that kind of performance on a laptop that I spent $4,000 on, only 3 months ago, clearly something is wrong.
 

Debux

Commendable
Jul 10, 2020
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I do not know how Ryzen cpus treat this, but on Intel, this behavior is power throttling. Either a faulty sensor(you said nothing was changed) or the power brick has gone lemon.

You may need to RMA the laptop - see what Asus says first, though.
I was actually thinking that the power brick may have gone bad as I did see improvements in performance when on battery, though it seems now it doesn't matter but that could be something to do with messed up power plans. Setting 100% on plugged in/ not plugged in on both minimum and maximum processor states doesn't work either plugged or unplugged though. The fan speed also doesn't increase in game, and when I tab out to desktop it increases.
 

Debux

Commendable
Jul 10, 2020
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Ok I found something, at times, my CPU will throttle up when nothing graphically intense is happening, so for example I'm in a room in a game. However, when I look into the distance or rapidly move around and change locations, the CPU will throttle down, and so will the voltage.

So for instance, from 3594MHz frequency and 1385mV voltage, it will drop to 1680MHz, 1020mV.
At the same time, the GPU frequency also change drastically, from 1125MHz GPU frequency and 668mV, it will rise to 1920MHz, 1081mV.

When the GPU frequency is lower and CPU is higher, the game runs absolutely perfect, but whenever the GPU gets more voltage the CPU instantly throttles and the game starts to drop FPS.

Insufficient voltage?
 

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